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A Historical Perspective on Migration Issues


!!This course is an Honours Class and therefore only available for students of an honours college !!

Enrolling in this course is possible until the 15th of November, using the link at ‘registration’ during this period.


Current issues on migration and integration can only be understood from a historical perspective. This course provides a thorough inside from a multitude of directions.

At a market in Athens (Greece) men from Africa sell rip-off designer bags (see picture). The police chase them off halfheartedly and sellers and buyers (many of them tourists) are back in business half an hour later. Are the sellers economic migrants or refugees, or both? Are Greek authorities failing to exercise migration control, or is the EU unable to control Greece? To which extent is this example a story about control, categorization, globalization, class, ethnicity, and gender? How new are these issues?

Current debates on migration can only be understood with proper knowledge of past migrations, and policies on migration can only be developed after an evaluation of past policies. This honours class does precisely that. The course starts with a series of introductory lectures by Prof. dr. Marlou Schrover. These will provide basic knowledge and will introduce key concepts. After that there will be key speakers from different disciplines.

There will be an excursion in the first part of this course. The course will be concluded with a student conference (whole day) at which students will present papers.


Lectures and guest lectures, excursion and workshop. For each meeting students have to read two articles (TBA). Per week two students prepare a short joint presentation. In the end there will be a student conference (workshop) in which all students give a presentation (separately or in pairs). There will be 10 meetings:

  1. Mobility (over time and space from a broad perspective) (lecture)

  2. Control: paupers and revolutionaries (lecture)

  3. Refugees: from Pilgrim Fathers and Huguenots to boat people (guest lecture)

  4. Free and unfree movements (including slavery) (guest lecture)

  5. Colonialism and post-colonialism (lecture)

  6. Excursion

  7. Family (including adoption) (lecture)

  8. Race and ethnicity (guest lecture)

  9. Integration (lecture)

  10. Student conference (whole day): all students present a paper (workshop)


Tuesday 2, 9, 16, 23 February, 1, 22, 29 March, 5, 12 April; 15:00 – 17:00 hrs
19 April; 13:00 – 17:00 hrs.


De Oude Sterrewacht / Old Observatory, Sterrenwachtlaan 11, Leiden

Assessment method

Essay, presentation, participation, introduction to the papers

Maximum number of students



Enrolling in this course is possible until 15 November via this link .


Prof. dr. Marlou Schrover